MISSISSIPPI, June 27, 2014– Mark Mayfield, a prominent leader of the Mississippi Tea Party, has been found dead. He and three others were accused of conspiring to photograph Mississippi U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s wife in her nursing home.
The four individuals believed there was a scandal involving Cochran and his ailing wife. The photos would eventually be used in an anti-Cochran video campaign.
Although many tried to connect the photographs to Cochran’s Tea Party primary challenger State Senator Chris McDaniel (R), the McDaniel campaign continuously refuted any link.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) issued the following statement:
“Deborah and I are saddened to hear of the loss of Mark Mayfield. He was a long-time friend, and he will be missed. Our prayers go out to his family in this tragic moment.”
Mayfield was arrested on May 22 and charged with conspiracy. Madison County district attorney alleges that Mayfield gave advice on how to get into the nursing home where Rose Cochran, suffering from Alzheimer’s, lives. According to the DA, Mayfield refused to take the picture himself, but his mother had lived in the facility so he knew the best way to gain admission.
Officials have ruled Mayfield’s death a suicide, but say an autopsy will still be conducted to rule out foul play.